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Astrobiology Top 10: NASA Selects Exoplanet Satellite for Next Explorer-Class Mission
Topic: Missions
Summary: As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 9, NASA's Astrophysics Explorer Program has selected two missions for launch in 2017. One of the missions is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which will use an array of telescopes to search for transiting exoplanets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants. (Originally published on 04/10/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: Astronomers Anticipate 100 Billion Earth-Like Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 10, researchers have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets--a method that could identify as many as 100 billion extrasolar worlds. (Originally published on 04/05/13)

Diamonds in the Oldest Zircons are Lab Contaminants
Topic: Geology
Summary: New research finds that the 4.3 billion-year-old diamonds reported in two papers in 2007 and 2008 could actually be contaminants introduced into geological samples from Australia.

Curious Results from Mars
Topic: Mars
Summary: A recent set of publications highlight findings from NASA's Curiosity rover during its first four months on Mars. The studies provide new insight into the origin of water trapped in Mars soil, and the history of the martian environment at Curiosity's landing site in Gale Crater.

How Radioactivity Muddles the DNA Alphabet
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Summary: A new study examines how natural radioactivity in our bodies affects human DNA at the atomic scale.

Brightest Bird in the Sky: The RAVAN Satellite Set to Fly
Topic: Missions
Summary: The RAVAN project aims to launch small satellites in order to develop a dynamic 3D model of Earth's global temperatures.

Hacking the Planet?
Topic: Earth
Summary: A dozen papers on geoengineering have been released in a special issue of the journal Climatic Change.

Oil- and Metal-Munching Microbes Dominate Deep Sandstone Formations
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Halomonas bacteria are well-known for consuming the metal parts of the Titanic. Researchers now have found Halomonas in sandstone formations deep underground.

Pathogens in Space
Topic: Moon to Mars
Summary: A new study reports how spaceflight alters the activity of a fungal pathogen.

First Detection of a Predicted Unseen Exoplanet
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers previously predicted the presence of the planet Kepler-88 c based on its gravitational influence on other planets in the system, even though they couldn't see it. Now, new observations confirm that the planet does exist.

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